One day after notching his 2,500th career strikeout, Mariners hurler Félix Hernández landed on the 10-day injured list with a right shoulder strain. In corresponding moves, the club selected the contract of right-handed reliever Parker Markel from Triple-A Tacoma, recalled reliever Dan Altavilla from Double-A Arkansas, and optioned outfielder Braden Bishop.
According to comments given by the pitcher on Sunday, Hernández said he experienced a pinching sensation while working through his last start, adding that his shoulder “just doesn’t feel right.” The full extent of his injury is currently unknown, though he’s expected to undergo an MRI following the Mariners’ series finale against the Red Sox. It’s not yet certain how long he’ll be out of commission.
While Hernández has a long history of arm injuries, this looks to be the first significant setback he’s experienced so far this season. Following Saturday’s disastrous start, during which he gave up a season-high seven runs shortly after recording strikeout no. 2,500 against Red Sox rookie Michael Chavis, he’s 1-4 through eight starts with a 6.52 ERA, 1.9 BB/9, and 7.9 SO/9 through 38 2/3 innings.
In his place, Markel will assume Hernández’s roster spot and step into a bullpen role. The 28-year-old inked a minor league pact with the Mariners last September and impressed in his first month of Double-A and Triple-A ball, where he put up a cumulative 0.52 ERA, 3.6 BB/9, and 18.2 SO/9 in 17 1/3 innings. Things didn’t go nearly as smoothly during his major league debut on Sunday, when he took the ball from Marco Gonzales in the bottom of the fifth and promptly gave up two runs on a Chavis two-run single.